In our first edition yesterday I gave you a very brief introduction to the MLS, and introduced you to the Cascadia rivalry and the Portland Timbers. You saw the passion, the energy, the commitment of the die hard Timbers army and in today’s edition you’ll see their biggest MLS rival in the Cascadian Seattle Sounders. Please note I’ll have a new edition posted over night, for you to read every morning, until we’ve covered all MLS teams.
Not only are the Sounders their main rivals on the pitch, but when it comes to arguing who has the best home support in the MLS it’s a straight up shoot out between these two clubs – although you could argue the Timbers or any other team in the league just simply cannot make as much noise as a ground that has seen an average of near 40,000 fans all season long, with the occasional 46,000 during some big games.
To continue our look at the Cascadian rivalry, however, let me take you back to the very beginning. Due to the long standing Cascadian rivalry, the Cascadia cup was created as a side attraction when none of the three teams were actually MLS sides. It was introduced in 2004 by supporters groups, and the USL approved the mini Cascadia cup competition where the team that finished the regular season with the most wins against each other would claim the trophy.
After the teams were split up by the new league tiers however, Seattle didn’t compete in the competition again until 2011 and by then what started out as an innocent Cascadia rivalry between three not so big clubs by supporters groups in agreement has now turned in to one of the best spectacles of the MLS season for me. Whenever these teams meet, it’s going to be fast, passionate, entertaining and sometimes ugly.
Despite Portland dominating both sides and lifting the cup in 2012, our feature team, the Seattle Sounders, arguably stole the more important bragging rights for the season as they came within touching distance of the MLS Playoffs final and reached the US Open Cup final, despite losing in both.
One of the first things you need to know about Seattle when it comes to betting is that although they are a pretty well rounded team that will pick up points home and away, their home crowd is a fortress. You can see the picture at the top and you get 90 minutes of that when you play the Sounders. Scarfs, banners, flags, noise, flares, they throw everything at you. It’s the loudest football stadium I’ve experienced outside of Europe, honestly.
As you can see in the picture, they’re a dedicated bunch and it’s one of the reasons they are so hard to beat at home. After dropping few games over the course of the season, they managed a fair amount of clean sheets and the most profitable bet on the Sounders would have been backing them to score in both halves.
That particular bet wasn’t priced below 2.10 all season surprisingly, and it landed in 8 of their home games. The 8 games it landed in would have generated you over £140 of profit from £10 bets, include a 3/1 score both halves in a 4-0 victory over LA Galaxy.
The next most profitable bet would have been -1 Asian Handicap, being covered in over half of their wins and voided at least in over 80% of their home games.
A big part of those landing were not only down to Freddy Montero, but also US International Eddie Johnson – a name you’ll hear a lot of in the next 8 months both in my tips for the MLS and my US National Team previews.
After reaching the US Open Cup Final only to lose on penalties to Sporting KC the Sounders will be looking to take the Open Cup for a 4th time in 5 seasons, as well as finally reaching the MLS Cup final that the die hard fans crave. They’re a team that we’ll no doubt back a lot of teams this season, get get used to them – and if you haven’t picked yourself an MLS team to support yet, why not join the other 45,000 Sounders?
Predicted finish: 3rd/9 in the Western Conference